The SEC's most overrated in 2008

January, 20, 2009
1/20/09
9:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Who lived up to the hype in 2008, and who didn't?

Georgia started the season ranked No. 1 in the country. We know the Bulldogs didn't finish there, but their season didn't unravel, either.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow didn't win a second straight Heisman Trophy, but most would agree that he had a pretty fair season.

For Sylvester Croom, Phillip Fulmer and Tommy Tuberville, it was the kind of season they would just as soon forget. More precisely, it was their final season.

We take a look back at some of the SEC's most overrated in 2008. Check back later on Wednesday, and we'll examine the underrated.

Most overrated team: Sure, the Georgia fans are still bumming about having to watch the FedEx BCS National Championship Game on television (and watching Florida collect another trophy), but the clear-cut winner is Auburn. The Tigers started the season ranked in the top 10, but finished 5-7 with only one win over an FBS team with a winning record. It was a disastrous season that ended with veteran coach Tommy Tuberville finding himself out of a job.

Most overrated player: Did LSU defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois play at all this past season? After starring in the BCS National Championship Game two years ago, Jean-Francois was AWOL in 2008 and takes his now-you-see-me, now-you-don't act to the NFL a year early. Ricky, we hardly knew you.

Most overrated coach: On game day, Steve Spurrier is still the guy you want on your sideline. He's one of the best tacticians in the game. But he's losing some of his luster at South Carolina and is just 7-11 in his last 18 games. The Gamecocks were outscored 118-30 in their last three games in 2008, and if you didn't know better, you'd swear they packed it in on the Head Ball Coach.

Most overrated unit: LSU's defensive line was far more talented than it played all season. Maybe expectations were too high. But the Tigers were ordinary at best in their defensive front, a big reason they gave up so many points.

Most overrated rivalry: Even before Urban Meyer showed up, the Florida-Tennessee rivalry was pretty one-sided with the Gators winning most of the time. But recently, the Vols haven't even been competitive. They've been outscored 82-26 the past two years, which explains in part why Fulmer is no longer around.

Most overrated win: Alabama's 34-10 dismantling of then-No. 9 Clemson looked a lot better on Aug. 30 than it did on Dec. 9. The Tigers barely made it to a bowl game.

Most overrated loss: Has there ever been a more beneficial loss than Florida's 31-30 setback to Ole Miss on Sept. 27 at the Swamp? At the time, it was shocking. But in time, it was obvious that it was the best thing that could have happened to the Gators, who never lost again.

Most overrated game-day experience: Granted, the setting for the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville is unique. But unless you like sitting on Union Avenue for two hours trying to get to the stadium, do yourself a favor and watch the game on television.

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SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
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